high-tech bracelets: new uses for a hot accessory

Just a few years ago they were nothing more than fashion accessories. But now, bracelets have gradually emerged as functional and connected tools.

It’s been in the making for a while. Several years ago we saw the release of the power balance bracelet, intended to improve your strength, balance, and flexibility. Despite the lack of any evidence supporting these claims, the bracelets have become fairly popular. Since then, a few other "smart" bracelets have appeared, offering concrete benefits in fitness, healthcare and security.

bracelets for athletes and sleepers

A few different high-tech bracelets are available to help you stay in shape, such as Nike+Fuelband, Up (by Jawbone) and Flex (by Fitbit). They’re designed to help you keep track of your daily activities:

  • physical activity: number of steps and distance walked, calories burned, time standing, etc.
  • sleep: sleep hours and sleep cycle data (Up and Flex bracelets only).

You can then do different things with this data using the smartphone apps that come with the bracelets: view the data, create a schedule, set goals, track progress, share your performance on social media, sync an alarm to the end of a sleep cycle, etc.

associated apps

Another advantage is that you can sync these bracelets with a number of different apps. This means you can set the bracelet’s app to share data with apps from other companies. For example, Lose it! is an app that helps you set up a fitness program based on the number of calories you use every day, notably by tracking your exercise routine.

Your high-tech bracelet will automatically send your exercise data to the app and integrate the number of calories you burn into your fitness plan. This lets the app base your workout on precise figures without having to enter them in manually.

emergency, security and geolocation bracelets 

Other types of bracelets are also available, offering services that may be of vital importance for some groups of people:

  • Emergency bracelets, such as Senior assistance CIC (link in French), created by a major French bank, help seniors call emergency response teams by simply pressing a button on the bracelet in the case of an accident.
  • Security bracelets, such as Beam, help people with different medical conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, etc.) check their status in real time with a handy display on their wrists.
  • Geolocation bracelets help locate family members with little autonomy, due to conditions such as Alzheimer’s, in case they get lost.

At the moment, we’re seeing an explosion in the number of services offered by these new high-tech objects. And it looks like the trend is set to continue, considering their high popularity and development potential. What do you think? Is there a bright future in store for these bracelets? Do you use them?


This post was originally publishedin French here.

image © gubh83 - Fotolia.com

Sylvain Gasc

As a business student and passionate about new technologies, I'm currently serving an internship as assistant M2M product manager at the Technocentre.  My work allows me to be in constant contact with machine to machine innovations and to regularly discover what's new in the industry.